Ok, dear readers, here is my commentary on my final StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment theme. I’m not sure why it took me so long to write this one. Maybe it’s because I wanted to write about other things. Maybe it’s because life got so busy with subbing and then moving. Or maybe it’s because I took so long to figure out how it fits in my life.
People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.
The book describes people who are great at parties, who love meeting new people and making great first impressions. I had to mull this one over for a while, because this isn’t true in my social life. My social life draws more on my Input Strengths. I prefer deep conversations with a few close friends over mixing and mingling in a big party, where conversations stay at the small-talk level. In those situations, I tend to hang back a little and let others be the life of the party.
However, when I reread the information with my career in mind, it clicked. I am a professional “Woo-er.” In fact, replace the word “strangers” with the word “students” in the description below (from the book), and you have a spot-on description of me.
“Strangers can be energizing. You are drawn to them. You want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find areas of common interest so you can strike up a conversation and build rapport.” (p. 169)
I can build rapport with students really quickly. I generally only need one day in the classroom to establish myself in the school. I’m good at connecting with students while maintaining order and completing a lesson plan. I think my Harmony and Belief strengths help in this, too. When I enter that classroom, I’m doing something that matters, and I want to make a connection and a difference as quickly as possible.
In this next description, replace “surroundings” with the word “classroom,” and it’s awesome!
“Your Woo talents give you the ability to quicken the pulse of your surroundings. Recognize the power of your presence and how you open doors for the exchange of ideas. By simply starting conversations that engage others and bring talented people together, you will take performance up a notch — or several.” (p. 170)
I read this, and I think of how I engage a classroom. I reflect on how I thrive on class discussions while reading literature, how I excited I get when I see exchange of ideas, intense thinking, and active learning in my English classes. I’ve always thought that my job is so much more than just getting kids to read classic literature. I teach kids to debate, to think, to form an argument and defend it with evidence against those who don’t agree. It’s thrilling! And the very wording of this description plays directly into my Maximizer strengths, too!
I also work hard to build my professional network through different teachers and administrators that I meet. I may not be the life of the party in social settings, but I can be engaging, personable, and outgoing among strangers if those strangers are educational professionals.
A final bit of advice for me from StrengthsFinder 2.0:
“Choose a job in which you can interact with many people over the course of the day.”
Yep. I had a desk job once, and I hated it. It was awful I belong in the classroom, where I can engage and interact with 100+ teenagers a day, as well as the faculty and administration. This is why I’m a good sub as well as a good teacher.
As I’ve been writing this, I’ve been thinking over my career path and what my ideal job would look like. That’s what I need to consider with all this new StrengthsFinder information. Now that I know my strengths, how can I best use them?
But that’s a blog post for another time.